BILLY'S CONTRACT gets grumpy in his OLD age

Well it took its time coming around, thank goodness, but I have, done something 'Pools have not achieved for a few seasons and that is hitting the big six '0'. However since the big day in early March my wife tells me that over night that I have turned in to a right Victor Meldrew moaning about everything.

For instance after the home game against,can't recall who we were playing at the time but I distinctly recall that we did not score. Did I whinge to my wife about the team's performance, or how baltic it was, stood on the uncentrally heated terracing. I also failed to mention to her that I did not warm up until 2 hours after the match. Nor did I make reference about the fizzy drink that was passed off as a pint of lager which I had on the way home. 

What I did go on and on and on about was however, was the 'Pools fan in his forties on his way down Clarence road who threw his empty sweet wrapper into some ones garden. I spent the rest of the match fuming, not about John Hughes' substitutions, but that I did not say something to this 6 foot high 3 foot wide Ignorant Thicko but later I found solace in the fact I don't speak Neanderthal.

A few days later I attended a funeral. Afterwards I droned on and on gain to my long suffering wife about how ignorant people were on such a solemn occasion. Some of the mourners were chewing gum, surprisingly not 'popping it', during the course of the service. As we were leaving the Church a couple of people were viewing their mobiles for messages for goodness sake.

I consider myself a happy go lucky sort of chap with a decent sense of humour, if that wasn't the case I would have packed in 'Pools 44 and a half years ago.
It is surprising that when you hit three score, even the smallest little thing sets you off on a rant. Don't get me on about Alistair Brownlee, Vandalism, Our Councillors, The E.U, Tees Valley (what's that all about?) Sepp Blatter, Celebrity worship and of course not forgetting litter bugs, and I am only scratching the surface here. (Note from Mrs Contract: Please please don't get him started on about French Cars.)
"I consider myself a happy go lucky sort of chap with a decent sense of humour. If that wasn't the case I would have packed in Pools 44 and a half years ago."
And what of my sixtieth anniversary on this planet - apart from "Pool Power" I noticed that I did not receive any birthday cards or greeting from my fellow M.B contributors. Look there I go again. It is so easy.

I have been employed by the same company for nearly thirty years, great company to work for, I really enjoy my job and have hardly ever had a day off work since I started. Boy did the management get a shock Maundy Thursday when I gave my views of a new system the company are looking to introduce in the near future (Decimalisation....never catch on). My employers were in a state of shock not so much that I pointed out the flaws in their new process but more so that the normally quiet one at the back, me actually, had a moan. I fully expect to be dragged before the H.R team first thing on Monday morning, not to explain my doubts about the new processes, but to give a detailed explanation on why it has taken me three decades of employment to have a good whinge.

Prior to hitting 60 I have always been a member of the 'glass full fraternity' and as such, I have always given the moaning community a very wide berth. Obviously if one has been dealt a duff hand in the card game of life with regards to say health issues or having to live in Middlesbrough, or both, I can understand having a downbeat attitude. I am however, not talking about these unfortunates but of that not so dying breed of the 'professional moaner' who have elevated grumbling to an art form. For my own part I fear that I am about to join their elite ranks as what I previously did not understand about this group of people is they actually enjoy moaning ...and I have, much to my joy, discovered that so do I. It is actually great fun and I would urge fellows readers to embrace this life form. I would have changed my name earlier by deed poll but I am unable to decide on Stadler, Waldorff or Meldrew for my new surname.

The best thing about having a good whinge is that you don't necessarily have to engage with other people. You can, alone or in a group, sit/stand/ and moan on to your heart's content. It is not like having a conversation as such, as no one communicates with each other nor do they listen to each other. It is just a series of random statements; "Have you seen the size of a Rolo these days, more like the size of a Smartie." Occasionally this will elicit a response from a like-minded person such as: ''Yes, but have you seen the size of a Smartie of late?" or "Since Terry's have been making their Chocolate Orange in Poland it doesn't taste as good and they are a lot smaller than they use to be as well as being more expensive". (Actually that is not a moan but a fact!) Three moans in the one sentence there. Are you getting the hang of it now dear reader? 

Next time you are out socialising just mention to the person next to you, preferably someone you are not familiar with, ideally not Gary Lineker, and see what sort of response you get when you say "I see that Walkers are putting 10% less crisps in their packets these days and 20% more fresh air"* The reply you will receive will be along the lines "It would improve Walton's game and fitness if the scruffy Yorkshire git had a shave".

With that in mind, I have decided to up sticks and relocate, and desert my chums in the Town End - too cheerful for my liking, and apply for an over-sixties season ticket in The Mill House paddock, and join as one with like-minded brethren on that side of the ground,  hurling abuse at all who set foot on Victoria Park's lush grass, be they players, officals, management or the kids who take the penalty kicks at half time. 

I can hardly contain my excitement at the prospect of hurling abuse at the great and the good from my new vantage point "get a grip Humphreys, Baldwin, James, Flinders, Messi, Rooney, Ronaldo, Pele and Maradonna - not worth the entrance money even at pensioners' rates." The beauty about being on the Mill House is that unlike other parts of the ground the players are close enough to hear your derogatory comments and you can destroy their confidence within half an hour, and hey ho, another relegation to look forward too. Who says it is always the players' fault? 

Editor's note: Sorry to disappoint but to join the Mill House fraternity of serial Grumblers is by strict invitation only.

* See March's issue of Which Magazine